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Quote of the Week

Quote of the Week :



"There comes a time when the world gets quiet and the only thing left is your own heart. So you'd better learn the sound of it. Otherwise you'll never understand what its saying."
~ Sarah Dessen


(Once again I own nothing, I found this pic on Tumblr, isn't it beautiful. I want to go where ever this is. I choose thos pic in honor of our first snowfall this year and it matched the quote perfectly! Emotionally Evoking, is what that pic is to me! Like it?







How about a shake-up in the paranormal/fantasy romance genre? I recently discovered a new fantasy series with romantic undertones in it and I am currently devouring everything by the author. Has anyone heard of L.J. McDonald and her Sylph Series?


   

I picked up The Battle Sylph by her on a whim and I am so glad I did! In 2010 L.J. McDonald published her first novel that is refreshingly new in the fantasy genre, at least I think so anyway. She creates an Earth like world inhabited by humans, with almost a medieval time period structure to their society; except a significant part of their culture involves elementals.  Humans have found a way to open a gateway to another dimension and entice sylphs of elemental, healer, and of warrior natures to their dimension and then trap and enslave them. Those in power feel that only men can handle the power of the sylphs and can be their masters.  Though some battles are fought with human armies, each kingdom’s military strength is determined mostly by the amount of “battlers” a country has under its control.

To entice a battler to cross-over a virgin is sacrificed and that is where we are introduced to our main female character, Solie. She was chosen as a sacrifice, but botched the ceremony and became a master to a battler.  The book focuses on Solie and her battler as they flee for their lives wrecking havoc along the way, of course!

More information can be found


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The Review:

I think McDonald is an amazing writer and she did a wonderful job of world building, creating even the smallest details. As you are reading you can visualize every moment of what is happening and you are drawn into the story. The story is well paced and the plot develops nicely with action interwoven perfectly. It is emotionally compelling and an engaging read. There is great back-story and character definition and growth.

However, it should be noted that the two main characters are young and inexperienced in the ways of the world and are therefore naïve. As events happen they do smarten up, so I wasn’t too bothered, as I genuinely wanted to find out what happened to our characters.  But, for some readers, it might detract from the story depending on your personal tastes.  I wasn’t bothered because the novel is written from several characters’ points of view, not just Solie and her battler and you were able to see how their actions affected others and the kingdom as a whole.  It was a nice balance. There are some great secondary characters and little sub-plots that leave the opportunity for more stories, but none of them take away from the main story.  Compared to some vivid romance novels on the shelves today, I would not really classify The Battle Sylph as a romance novel. There is romance, but it does not define the book. I think the scenes are tastefully done and are more descriptive than literal.  

Overall, it is a great solid debut novel and I wanted to find out what happens next so I purchased the following books which are, The Shattered Sylph and Queen of the Sylphs.  The series improves as  it moves further along, with the romance aspect really declining. So if you were uncomfortable with some of the sexual scenes in the first novel and are on the fence about getting the next one due to that aspect, the grab it! She continues with the great world building and the characters become more three dimensionalized with the romance not being so focused on.

The Battle Sylph is a great novel and worth reading (it is also in E-book format) and L.J. McDonald is an author definitely worth checking out.

L.J. McDonald continues to write and more books in the Sylph series are in the works, as well as new material. You can find out more (abour her and the Sylph Series) by checking out her website at http://www.ljmcdonald.ca/.    It was there that I learned she recently she accepted an online writer’s challenge, with a concept similar to Sue Grafton’s alphabet murder series.  In which she writes a short scene from the Sylph universe based off a word that corresponds to each letter in the alphabet. I believe she is only a few days (and letters) in, and I can’t wait to see what she comes up with!

 

Due to my interest, which I often write about on Live journal, I was approached by Senpai Magazine, a new CT independent anime magazine that is geared towards those that have been fans for years.  The magazine covers a wide variety of interest besides anime/manga, including; video games, cosplay, and Japanese culture.

I was so excited to be included in this project that is really barely a year old. I love anime and manga and am glad that not only do I get to talk to others but write and share my thoughts with the world. It has connected me to a community that is not as underground as I thought. 

Mostly I read manga or watch anime and write a detailed review, but I also post on the website’s blog occasionally if anything comes up that I wish to share or spark a discussion on.  You can access their weekly blog by ‘clicking me’ and here is some work done by me while I was blogging live from ConnectiCon 2011, and also my first piece for them!

I am working on a piece that I hope to submit and have it published in their print magazine soon! There is also PDF version of their magazine available online.

I hope this magazine becomes a great resource for you focusing on your interests as it has for me!

The Glory of the written word

Is it sad and pathetic that our creativity is overflowing our brains when we are overwhelmed with intense negative emotions. I mean there seems to be something working for all of those 'tortured artists.' I find that when I am drowning in stress and consumed by emotions that I just have to write. Sometimes its poems, other times stories, or just blogging about the world created by another author. And then viola *exxagerated hand flourish* I can breath again. I can function normally again.

Below is poem I wrote if anyone is interested. I would love some feedback, and advice!


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Feed your brain


Feed Your Brain




I was having a conversation about the movie adaptation of The Help by Kathryn Stockett and someone said, “You like actually read? Why?” I was totally flabbergasted and was unable to respond due to shock.  Soon enough, I recovered and launched an intellectual beat down on this guy about the satisfaction you get from reading.

I could recap the entire debate but while I was passionate in my defense I could never write a adequate response that would encompass all of my thoughts and beliefs on this subject. Oddly enough two days later, when I was taking a break from reading The Paris Review I stumbled upon a article written over two years ago posted on one of the blogs I follow  that was basically all that I said on why people read just condensed and eloquently put together.
  
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She couldn’t have said it any better! I totally agree with her on all points!  I just wish she would have expanded it a bit, but the point was made. The article was posted on the blogging site Pick the Brain one of the leading self-improvement websites on the internet. I will admit to following this website for a few years. In fact, I stumbled upon this website in the beginning of 2007 when it was just getting off the ground.  This website is extremely positive and has a wide range of topics covered by professionals, students, and anyone that wants to share their thoughts and what works for them. However, most of their focus can be broken down to fitting into motivation, self-education, and philosophy.

Some people read to educate themselves, others want to be informed of current events, and some even read just because it's fashionable. For example, the popular HBO show Game of Thrones is based off the novels by George R.R. Martin and there is a waiting list a mile long at any library to read these books now that there has been a visual adaptation, even though the books have been out for years.

Every time I pick up a book, I am taken to a new world and I meet new people. I am always on the lookout to gain a new experience through a book. I love being challenged and to read something out of my normal, everyday, life, influences me in a way that I cannot fully describe. There is so much out there to read, regardless of what format it is, (E-book, trade, or regular print) that I will forever be reading, and I know that I will never get to all I want to read, but I hope to always have something worth reading.

What are your thoughts? Why do you read and what do you think of the article? And can you recommend anything for me to read?

Tags:

Tomatoe or Tomatoe

Everyone is talking about the books, " The Hunger Games" by S. Collins and from what I hear of it it sounds like Battle Royal? Thoughts? Any truth to that? Is it worth really reading if it is or is not true?

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Writer's Block: Born to be wild

What’s the coolest way you’ve celebrated your birthday?


My 21st birthday was spent at the Casino! There was good food, good drinks, great company! I even got to see my favorite band play and meet them backstage!


Someone asked me for help on over coming writer’s block. What a big topic but I think I helped them. And then I decided to post about such a common problem with writers. When I define writer’s I also include those poor students forced to write 10-25 page papers about topics that may or may not be of use to them in the future. 

There are many reasons why someone develops writer’s blocks. It can be because you hate the topic you are forced to write about or you have no outline and just can’t get started.  


 

The biggest hurdle in overcoming writer’s block is usually you. You just have to sit down and resign yourself to the fact that you have a paper due soon and no one else is going to write it for you. That is of course easier said than done. I have a routine and several rituals when I write and research. While they may seem silly, you brain and body recognizes these signals as “okay this is work time.” So put on your classical music, stretch, do some deep breathing exercises, or go to the library/Starbucks, whatever is a relaxed and continuous habit for you to write successfully.

Examples: I need classical music to study but I need pure piano music to write. My aunt needs noise so she turns on a Spanish music station. Something upbeat but since she doesn’t know the words she doesn’t get distracted singing. My mom needs complete silence and will hide up in her room with noise canceling headphones to write her business papers.

Writing a paper or a book or a short story can seem overwhelming so the best thing to do is to plan and focus on partializing the task.  Partializing is a problem management skill and in simple terms, takes the big ball of chaos that has swallowed you and pick at it. Make it into smaller and achievable goals. Brainstorm, outline, research, write, and then edit.

If you have to, then force yourself to write at times. The words can be awful and not get your point across but it is a starting point. Write regardless of what it says and then take a break (if you can afford one) and come back after some time and hopefully you’ll be able to continue or have so many ideas on fixing the trash you just wrote that you can type/write as fast as you think.



 


Still having problems? Then try something unconventional. Remember the whole point is to shake you up so then you can settle in and write. You need to spark your creativity so try….

1. Talking aloud and maybe record yourself and play it back.

3a. Pretend you are writing the paper from a different angle. Make the connection the opposite. I would say if you are writing about Mothers Against Drunk Driving, try to write as if you were one of the kids or the opposite a mother’s point of view.  Whatever it is, find a way to just pull yourself out of your usual perspective.

3b. If you can’t change your perspective change your format. Write a novel not a paper. Write a poem not a short story.

3c. Change how you physically write. If you write, then type. If you type then go write with a crayon or something.  (My best friend got out of her writer’s block by writing in chalk on her driveway once.)

4a.  Bounce ideas of someone. It doesn’t matter who just someone who can spare 15 minutes for you to ramble on and may be able to offer insight and point you into a direction.  It may help to approach someone who isn’t familiar with your topic this way then can help you get the basis down and really connect the points and explanations.

4b. If you can’t bounce ideas off then just rant about your inability to put thoughts into words. Leave yourself voicemails if no one answers! The whole point is that it can be difficult to write to no one, so write or talk to someone. Write a letter if voicemails aren’t your thing.


 

5. Write about something completing ridiculous that no one would ever think of let alone want to read. (I once wrote about women who picked petals off flowers and after pressing them used them to decorate her house walls. Each flower petal had a story, a connection to her past and it was like a map/biography of dear Antionia.  ) Write about the invention of bath towels or the discovery of PB & J or whatever!

6.  Get out! Sometimes a change of scenery and focus on something not what you need to focus on will help get back into your groove.

7. Document the artistic moment through photography.  Really jazz yourself up!
 


 

If you have trouble with writer’s block then maybe you should talk to your editor, teacher, or someone that can help you move past why you are blocking you.  It’s nothing to be ashamed of and there maybe a simple reason one why you can’t commit to this project rather than a deep psychological issue causing you to be unable to write.

Hope this helps!

Best of luck,

Ageless Light

 
P.S. I hope you like the pictures I found on google!


 

Quote of the Week


 

Quote of the Week:


What I have written—and how I came to write it—is most powerfully what I am. 
~Hortense Calisher




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Dilema or quote of the week?

Would you rather have peace or freedom?


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